These cupcakes were a fun project i decided to do for my AP World Literature class for our end of the year party. As I mentioned in a previous post, everyone in my AP class chose a country to spend time on all year blah blah blah.. I already talked about this. But for our party, I decided to showcase a more decorative side of my cupcake making abilities. My class already knew I was a seasoned cupcake baker, but I wanted to show them I could get a little more playful as well.
Our lovely party spread. Flip side crackers, a cookie cake, brownie bites, and my cupcakes! All on a Disney princess table cloth.
Our party theme was "Everybody Wang Lung Tonight". I'll explain. We read this crazy novel titled "The Good Earth". It was extremely long and a tad pointless. I don't wanna bash it too much, as there is now a special spot in my heart for it. So the main character's name is Wang Lung, and the song is Wang Chung. Yepp, I thought of it all by myself=) But for the cupcakes... I racked my brain constantly on what I could possibly do with them. Themes, flavors, and shapes were all put into consideration. And judging by the pictures I'm sure you can guess what I came up with.
I like making people feel special. People like being made to feel special. Who doesn't like when someone specifically creates something for them? So I made a cupcake specifically designed for each member of my class. The base was a simple vanilla buttermilk cupcake by the Queen herself. I've made so many of her cupcakes but had yet to make her simple vanilla ones! I paired it with her suggested fluffy vanilla frosting. I halved both the recipes. Then, I got creative.
The lovely cookie cake bought by my friend Roman. She said the cake decorator gave her some pretty strange looks. I can't imagine why.
I went scouring the town for some fondant to work with and ended up finding it at this cute cottage-like house that was a cake supplies store. I then bought icing markers to use on it. So I would take a chunk of fondant, roll it into a rectangle shape, then color on my flag pattern. Were these time consuming? Umm.. if they were, I didn't seem to mind. It was such fun to make!
Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2) With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add yolks, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
3) Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1) With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
2)Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
3)Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.